Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: I received my BA from the University of Michigan where I focused my studies on medical and cultural anthropology. There I learned about the numerous challenges birthing people face in our medical system. I studied the impacts of race, gender, and class status on the quality of maternity care patients receive and was disappointed to see the lack of choice and agency new moms have to struggle with. I worked with a maternity shelter and a community doula program in Southeast MI, two nonprofit organizations which seek to give parents control over their choices for birth, and the ability to make informed decisions. From there, I found my calling as a doula and have loved every moment of this work!
What led you to become a Doula?: I am a deeply empathetic person, with a cool head under pressure so when I found out about doula work it was a natural fit! I have a background in adult education, so becoming a childbirth educator allowed me to engage my passion for teaching, while working to support growing families as they explore their options for childbirth.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
“Your presence and voice is so calming. Like, every time I looked over there you were and it was just what I needed.”
What are your favorite pregnancy/parenting resources?: I love podcasts, so "The Birth Hour" is awesome. Spinning Babies is a great resource for pregnancy. I also use evidencebasedbirth.com a lot for reliable information and up to date research.
What thoughts come to mind when you see a pregnant woman or brand new mom?: I always wonder what their journey has been like, and what they are going through underneath the idealized version you might hear at first. So many moms say they are doing great when really they are dealing with doubt, anxiety, fear, and excitement all at the same time. I always try to avoid the "Oh, you must be so happy/excited/overjoyed" and try to find out how they're really doing so I can offer encouragement if they need it!
What is the best gift you can give a new mom (as a Doula)?: The best gift I can give is the confidence to see that they are capable of handling any of the challenges that parenthood might bring. It's not something I can give but it IS something I can help them bring out in themselves!
What is your favorite TV show or movie?: The Great British Baking Show-- it's so fun to watch!
What is your favorite place to vacation?: Northern Michigan-- the great lakes are so beautiful and make me so happy to live in this state!
What is your favorite food?: Homemade cherry pie
What is your favorite way to spend a day off?: My perfect day off would include sleeping in, going to breakfast with a good friend, a long walk, reading outside, then enjoying a nice home cooked dinner on my back patio. I love slowing down to enjoy the simple things.
Who lives in your house?: *